Monday, February 28, 2011

Mengumpulkan Pikiran Saya

Someone translated my Morgenthau article into Indonesian (I think): Mengumpulkan Pikiran Saya. I'm about to roll over to 405,000 visitors.

Brenda Leigh--you should be ashamed of yourself for misleading young women

We've borrowed and returned 2 seasons of "The Closer" from the library, and checked out seasons 3 and 4. We've thoroughly enjoyed the excellent writing and acting of this TNT show, which ends after the seventh season this year. Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) would be such a beautiful role model for young women who want to be both authoritative, tough and a good manager, but yet feminine and tender too. She wears modest feminine attire, loves her kitty, and is usually emotionally exhausted when coming home from work.) Unfortunately, the writers gave her a live-in boyfriend as a subplot (they marry in later episodes) to help her solve crimes and a former married lover as her boss for tension and humor at work. I guess it would just be too much work to figure out how she could possibly be a fine, capable woman and be sexually chaste too. Since the crime and the team's dynamics are the center piece each episode, how hard could it be to make Brenda really smart?

Since young women (and even some old) have decided living with the guy is an OK opening for marriage and long term plans like having a family, the divorce rate has soared and the child poverty rate has gone out of sight, with only 8% of children from married households living in poverty and 56% with single moms living in poverty. How smart is that, Hollywood, to promote this? Don't you want people to continue buying your product?

Women could virtually wipe out poverty in a generation just by having higher standards for themselves and the men they love.


Newmont Mining Corporation

I see I've bought 50 shares of Newmont Mining Corporation (NEM), a gold producer, with significant assets or operations in the United States, Australia, Peru, Indonesia, Ghana, Canada, New Zealand and Mexico. Well, I hadn't planned to buy gold for my retirement portfolio, but apparently if you do, you'll be helping me.

Discovery & Development | Newmont Mining Corporation

SunChips' compostable bags get quieter

In a world of chaos and intractible problems, it's nice to know that sometimes there is a solution to . . . noisy snack bags.

SunChips' compostable bags get quieter | Drug Store News

Are they paid for recruiting for the government programs

I noticed this disclaimer on a private, non-governmental website encouraging people to sign up for government benefits. There are two ways (alluded to in the message) to make money doing this: 1) either the government reimburses them for the referrals, or 2) they resell the information collected from those who inquire.
    " is not a government agency and is in no way affiliated with any government agency. This is not an application for Food Stamps, LIHEAP or HUD Public Housing. We are a private organization. We use the information you provide to connect you to the correct site to apply for food stamps, LIHEAP and HUD Public Housing in your state. Additionally we will give you the opportunity to participate in private offers that we believe may benefit you through email. We will also provide you with ways to get other free things that may interest and help your family after entering the site. You are not required to participate in these offers or buy anything to get access to your free financial aid and other free help for the family. Please support our sponsors who keep this site free."

Inspiring story by Jewish Ethiopian Immigrant to Israel

Hope and Change--it's not just a political slogan

Hope and Change is the message of the New Testament, and it was stolen by the Obama campaign because the clever marketing firm that ran the campaign knew the familiarity and the challenge of it have a comfortable, familiar ring, even if the candidate was preaching political concepts unacceptable to most Americans--concepts that have failed in every country they've been tried. "Hope and change" (the slogan) is also an underlying desire of youth--in my generation it was the 18-23 year old's mantra, but since adolescence has been lengthened since the mid-60s, so has young adulthood, and now it's the 20-30 year olds who yearn to make changes in the world and believe they are the generation to do it. Constant, unremitting change (they are fuzzy on this but it includes risk taking, hedonism/slackerism, entertainment and sports) is in fact their hope as they postpone marriage, family and career.

Paul lists seven questions in Romans 8.31-39
    31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We have our only HOPE in Jesus Christ, and yes, because our lives will CHANGE, we CHANGE the world.

Do be fooled or misled by political slogans. Jesus didn't come to change political systems, or to be a humanist mystery called "peace and justice." He's not a member of any nation or political party. He's Lord and Savior of the universe, The Word of God, the Alpha and Omega, and he's Hope and Change.

In yesterday's sermon John Stolzenbach said he uses this passage from Romans at every funeral. Yes, it's truly amazing in listing changes and hope. "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Life here is full of changes--don't leave home without hope.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A New Newt - Gingrich Tries to Reconnect With America

I don't care what he converts to or how many films he makes about a pope, I certainly hope Republicans aren't fooled again by nominating an unelectable candidate. Maybe the current Mrs. Newt believes him, but I don't.

A New Newt - Gingrich Tries to Reconnect With America -

FBI File: However bad you thought Ted Kennedy was, he was worse!

Mayrantandrave has an interesting story about this sad, old man when he was young, frisky, interviewing Communists, and renting a brothel.

FBI File: Ted Kennedy and the Santiago Brothel « Mayrant&rave

There's a reason my parents left the farm

Barbara Kingsolver, author of Animal, vegetable, miracle (HarperCollins, 2007) our March book selection for book club is an excellent writer. But I could do without the preachy lectures. I've known for years, and so have our churches and government, that there is more than enough food grown in the world for everyone to be not just nourished, but fat! Growing it isn't the problem--it's the political systems that control and distribute it that fail. That was well publicized 40-50 years ago. And our own USA government through the U.S. Department of Agriculture has some pretty misguided regulations and policies itself.

So, despite her interesting experiment as Tiger Mom of the homestead, our personal food choices really don't make much difference, except for our own health. If I were to choose to eat 24/7 at McDonald's it doesn't change a Haitian dictator's behavior. Today I was reading an article from a Lutheran magazine from 1991, 20 years ago, about Haiti, and I might as well have been reading today's newspaper. The American food industry and our personal food choices (the only part of this we do control) will not give the Somalians a viable representative government, nor stop the Chinese government's policy of one child. We could ban petroleum products and industries tomorrow, and it would not feed one starving African child or free one Thai child prostitute. This is the 21st version of "clean your plate there are starving children in China" which some of us heard as children.

Kingsolver says it was a family decision to take a food sabbatical, to eat deliberately, to shop the local food landscape of Southern Appalachians. My first thought was, "they grow wheat and oats in southern Appalachia? And why should she be able to freeze her rhubarb to eat in the winter, if I can't buy pay some one to grow and freeze it commercially to eat in the winter?

If you"put the kitchen back in the center of the American diet," you put women back in the kitchen too. They won't be medical researchers, or astronauts, or academicians, or retail clerks, or factory assembly line workers, or restaurant chefs, or plumbers, or accountants if they are spending 2 hours a day finding and delivering fresh, locally grown food, and another 2 hours preparing it--milling, grinding, setting aside to rise, peeling, stewing, sanitizing, preserving--and then maybe mulching or plowing or sowing or harvesting in the hours left. But that's what women did for thousands of years while the men went out and slaughtered animals for meat or each other to protect the fields and families at home. I'm only at about page 60, but not sure I have the time (a week) to devote to this.

I'd already decided to skip the parts by Steven L. Hopp, but at p. 54 I found "profit driven, mechanized food industry," and wondered if Mrs. Kingsolver had hand copied her manuscripts, bound them in calf leather from her farm and distributed them in pony driven carts for only a dozen or so people to read.

Why it's called the Massacre River

My husband is still hoping for a mission trip to Haiti this year--now probably postponed to April. The Massacre River separates Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Why the unusual name? In today's letter, Pam Mann, a missionary/teacher in Ouanaminthe from Upper Arlington Lutheran Church writes:
    ". . . Why the river's name was changed to Massacre. Before the arrival of Christopher Columbus, the indigenous Taino and Arawak people called the river Guatapana. However, in 1936, the centuries-old name was changed. Dominican Dictator Trujillo ordered the genocide of all blacks living in the DR who could not pronounce the Spanish verb, pereir, “to perish”. Spanish r's are tricky for Haitians as are English r's. In a few days time, an estimated 25,000 were slaughtered by machete, knives or bullets. Haitians fleeing to their homeland were tracked down and butchered by machetes when the bullets ran out. The waters of the Guatapana River ran red with Haitian blood and a horrified nation renamed it.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

False claim of hurting the middle class

Stimulus money was used to pay off the public unions’ benefit packages in many states to balance the budget and kicked the problem down the road to Walker of Wisconsin and Kasich of Ohio and other Republicans who ran on this issue. There is no stimulus money left (can I say we told you so?) and states can't print money like Washington. So what do the unions do? They trot out that dog and pony show about hurting the middle class. Today's Columbus Dispatch says:

"Not only are the public-sector workers affected by Senate Bill 5 not representative of the majority of Ohio's middle class, but the comfortable wages, automatic raises, benefits, pensions, job protections, sick-day payouts and negotiating power enjoyed by many of these public-sector workers comes at the expense of the vast majority of Ohio's middle-class taxpayers. Most of these taxpayers have nothing remotely like these benefits nor the economic security that the public sector takes for granted and regards as a right."

Editorial: False claim | The Columbus Dispatch

Not only that, but we (not-in-the-unions) are your bosses, Mr. Fat Cat Union Boss! Let's get rid of public unions. All of them.

Friday, February 25, 2011

I recommend this blogger--May Rant and Rave

This one about Fancy Nancy revising her own commendation by the DNC is really good. You perhaps thought I was single focused and tough--hey--I'm a napping pussycat compared to Mayrant.

Why we call them union thugs

In your face, know your place in Wisconsin harassing Walker supporters.

HT May Rant and Rave

Is there Fast Food in Iraq?

MMWR report in JAMA

Of the resettled Iraqi refugees (San Diego) over 18, 24.6% were classified as obese, and 64.3% of those over 65 were hypertensive.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

You'll need aerobic exercise to benefit your brain

In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study, "scientists started with 120 elderly volunteers who were relatively inactive but did not have dementia. Half were randomly assigned to begin walking 40 minutes a day, three days a week for a year while the remainder only stretched and performed toning exercises for the same time period. After 12 months, the group that walked showed an average 2% growth in the hippocampus compared with when they began, while the control groups suffered a more than 1% shrinkage in the same region compared with when the study started.

“If you estimate the change at an individual level,” says study co-author Arthur Kramer of the University of Illinois, “a yearlong exercise program can turn back the clock about two years with respect to the volume of the hippocampus.” "

"Exercise training increases size of hippocampus and improves memory, "
PNAS 2011 108 (7) 3017-3022; published ahead of print January 31, 2011

Read more:

Expensive lunch, but interesting Christian missionaries

Today I attended a luncheon and information session sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Faculty and Staff at the Faculty Club on the Ohio State campus. The topic was human trafficking, aka slavery. Yes, it's still a big business--bigger than the transatlantic slave trade of the 18th century . . . estimates run to 12.7 million people, and some figures are higher. It's very lucrative--humans can be resold many times. And about two million of them are children. 46% of "johns" (male customers) would knowingly buy sex from a minor according to a survey of perverts. That's why, I suppose, the Planned Parenthood abortion clinics don't report their underage clients--they're in on it, as undercover videos have shown.

The speakers were Joe Chongsiriwatana, a former software engineer, who will be representing ZOE International Ministries in Thailand. Joe and his wife Yumi met and married at Ohio State, recently lived in San Francisco raising their 3 children, and have been called by God to minister to children in Chiang Mai, Thailand, children either who have been sold into prostitution and have been picked up by the police and brought to the facility, or those about to be sold by their parents.

The other speaker was Connie Anderson, Director of Justice Ministries, for the Great Lakes area of Intervarsity. She talked about a few local programs and ministries for victims of prostitution and trafficking, like Price of Life, DOMA International and Gracehaven Shelter and CORRC. She commented that the problem is so huge you don't know where to start, so she suggested (with a slide of a snow covered mountain) that we kick a few rocks to start an avalanche.

IJM - Reality of Human Trafficking from International Justice Mission on Vimeo.

But what irritates me is what I had to pay for parking. $5 for a salad bar isn't excessive, but $6.00 for 2.5 hours of parking is. All the parking lots and garages on the OSU campus have changed in recent years--I can't even remember the last time I was there. When I got to the gate I saw the sign "no key cards until 4 p.m." and the price sign I saw was $2 for 3 hours, but that apparently was for evening. So it was an $11.00 salad.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

No wonder "children" are insured to age 26

Poor things. Look how they dress!

Blogrolling is gone

I'd noticed my blogrolling lists windows had been blank for some time, so I went in to look at it and discovered the service no longer exists. It apparently became infected with malware and the owner decided to take it down. So I've deleted. It was a useful aggregator. I was on Over 50 Bloggers, State of Ohio Bloggers and Bear Flag League (California) bloggers. Unfortunately, I had removed the direct links to the bloggers I really liked. Unintended consequences to getting too techie.

Why should we believe him on other health and life issues?

During the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama consistently misrepresented his position on the "born alive" abortion issue. That he is strongly pro-choice was never an issue. He's in the bag with Democrats on that one. All of George Bush's protections for unborn life and embryonic stem cell research (my reason for changing my party affiliation in 2000) have pretty much been rolled back. But Obama was so far over the cliff on the born alive issue (a baby born alive is killed outside the womb), that even strong pro-choicers like Catholic Nancy Pelosi couldn't support that method. Then he lied about it. It was two and a half years ago, but as health care issues keep coming up, and he needs to clarify his position on everything from Muslim countries' riots to war in Afghanistan, to prisoners at Gitmo, to unions destroying state budgets, I have to ask, why should we believe anything he says?

One of these things is not like the others

Didn't Sesame Street have a song like that?

One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn't belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?

The CDC calls the following 5 items, "high-value prevention services" which can save 100,000 lives each year.
  1. Smoking cessation assistance
  2. colorectal cancer screening
  3. breast cancer screening
  4. annual influenza immunization
  5. daily aspirin to prevent heart disease.

Three quarters of former smokers quit on their own. And I don't know anyone who successfully, permanently stopped smoking with a government sponsored workshop, phone call counseling, nasal spray or a drug patch. Do you? The studies only have a few months or a year follow-up, but somehow the drug companies have got that one included in many government programs.

But I have heard of other uses for the nicotine patch I might consider--like improving memory in older persons. Now that I could get into.

Only the aspirin and the immunization are actually preventative. Two of these are screening for what you already have or will have. Breast cancer screening can find a lump--but doesn't prevent it. Colonoscopies can spot trouble spots that will become cancer but aren't there yet.

Kline: Morrison thwarted his abortion clinic case

Because Phillip Kline is/was a Republican pro-life attorney general, I suspect he will be found guilty of ethics charges. This is a tangled case, but we do know 164 girls under the age of 15 (78 in one year) had abortions with Planned Parenthood owned clinics and Dr. Tiller, the Kansas Killer of the pre-born, clinics. Paul Morrison is the Democrat (link to 2005 story) who replaced Kline and the charges of child rape went away (near as I can tell). If you interpret this story and testimony differently, please comment. If you want to argue the merits of abortion or underage sex, don't bother. You'll be deleted if you try to put that trash on my blog.

Kline: Morrison thwarted his abortion clinic case |

Doctors who wrote "passes for teachers skipping classes," will probably not see any charges. Ethics violations are sweet at the feet of the DNC and Obama's reelection committee.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

More Civility by Obama minions

"On Feb. 13, just the other side of the news cycle, a post on "Organizing for America," the website for the president's campaign arm, urged progressives to protest a proposal from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to reform public-employee benefits and limit collective-bargaining rights. The message, from Organizing for America's regional director for Wisconsin, began this way: "We've got a fight on our hands and it's personal."

Stephen Hayes: So Much for a 'More Civil' Public Discourse -

Redecorating is not for the timid

Or the old. Actually, it isn't even redecorating. When the Miller Brothers (614-203-4997) were here in January 2002, we decided not to paint out the gray and black trim that worked rather nicely with the floor colors. We just had the orange dining room, the brown living room, and the red hall and family room painted, leaving some of the trim that was in good shape not repainted. But over time, and with the ceiling repair needing a fresh coat of paint, we decided to finish the paint job we started in 2002. Whew! That's a lot of trim! It included 10 doors, all cross and Bible, all but one both sides. Crown molding in the entry and in the stairwell, requiring a tall ladder, and a very large 5-shelf built in bookcase on the upper level that I think was designed to be a closet, because it is so deep and includes a laundry chute. Today Paul told me it could be 30 days before the paint would "set" enough to put back heavy books and magazines, but he would read the can label to be sure. Right now the books (many of which belonged to my parents, grandparents and great grandparents) are sitting on a bed in the guest room, and the magazines (my collection of first and premiere issues) are on the floor and in one of the laundry baskets.

You can see the gray and black trim in the entry hall. The hall walls will now be light and the trim the khaki color that is on the living room trim. Makes the area much lighter.

Parents Upset With Teachers' Viagra Lawsuit - Milwaukee News Story - WISN Milwaukee

Milwaukee Public School teachers are fighting to get Viagra in their drug plan--costing the district another $800,000. I wonder if that helps with educating Wisconsin's children? Wonder what else the district could do with that money? The demonstrations at the state house is costing about $3 million a day. Now that's some serious change.

Parents Upset With Teachers' Viagra Lawsuit - Milwaukee News Story - WISN Milwaukee

The Showdown Over Public Union Power

By fleeing the state and their jobs, the Democrats of Wisconsin have shown the nation how seriously they are indebted to the unions, which support only Democrats. This shows the primary reason we should not have government workers unionized. It corrupts the government with payola, favoritism, cronyism, influence and in the case of teachers, it doesn't do much for the education of children to have the union bosses more concerned about their own power rather than education, which the state has decided is one of its jobs. Businesses do it too, you say? No. They split their donations, and in recent years, especially on environmental issues, the Democrats are the biggest recipients of big business donors because more regulation drives out their competition, and Democrats just love regulation.
    "Public unions are also among the biggest players in national politics. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (Afscme) has been the third-biggest contributor to federal campaigns over the past 20 years, having given $43 million. The National Education Association is number eight with $31 million in contributions, while the SEIU—half of whose 2.2 million members are government workers—is No. 10, with $29 million in campaign donations.

    Unlike businesses and industry groups that are also big givers but tend to split their donations between the parties, some 95% of government workers' donations has gone to the Democratic Party, whose members are far more likely to favor raising taxes and boosting spending than are members of the Republican Party.

Steven Malanga: The Showdown Over Public Union Power -

Monday, February 21, 2011

Doctors signing "sick" notes in Wisconsin for mental health

If doctors really were signing notes for absences for those at the union riots in Wisconsin, that would be an ethics violation and probably HIPAA too, so I'm sure Obama's Justice Department will want to investigate. . . yeah, that'll happen. On the other hand, if those were imposters (aka actors) playing "doctor" for the TV cameras and the demonstrators, they are probably in violation of the Screen Actors Guild code.

Quite a demonstration for school children, who now see how it is done and can copy. If you don't like what's going on, then lie, cheat, or steal (from the other taxpayers who are paying your bills). Also, be rude, loud and hostile to prevent others from speaking.

One recipient said she wasn't advised about mental health issues by the "doctor" but about her civil rights and what to say to her employer. When is the last time a doctor discussed that with you--on a street corner?

Story by McIver News Service

Still in Hiding. Could Union Bill Be Passed Separately Tuesday?

Illinois is enjoying a brief influx of tourist dollars as the Wisconsin Democrats hole up in the Best Western Clock Tower Inn in Rockford. They have abdicated. Should be replaced, in my opinion. An AP report at WTMJ says:
    "Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says his chamber of the Wisconsin legislature will convene to pass non-spending bills and act on appointments on Tuesday even if minority Democrats remain out of state in an effort to block a vote on Governor Scott Walker's budget repair bill. Could one of those bills be the union aspect of the budget bill, in a separate vote on Tuesday? Democratic state Sen. Jon Erpenbach told The Associated Press on Monday that Republicans could attempt to attach the part of the proposal taking away collective bargaining rights to an unrelated bill and pass it Tuesday."
Read the rest here. Capitol Chaos: Could Union Bill Be Passed Separately Tuesday? | Today's TMJ4 - Milwaukee, Wisconsin News, Weather, Sports, WTMJ | Local News

Boomers Find 401(k) Plans Come Up Short

You have to read to the midsection or botton to see why: many boomers started too late with too little. Vanguard now recommends 15% be set aside for retirement.

Boomers Find 401(k) Plans Come Up Short -

Also, I'm not sure who came up with that idea that retirement requires less than your working life. It's very expensive to do the things you waited all your life to do--or in my case, didn't know you wanted to do until you got there. And no, you can't retire early if you are paying off your kids' college loans (or your own), got a divorce in mid-life, still have a mortgage, want a second home, or you want to go out to eat a lot and travel more.

Gen-Xers will have to learn from the Boomers' mistakes: Increase your savings, decrease your want list. Also, real estate is only an investment if you buy it to rent it. If you live in it, it is your home. If it is your home, all those nice things or decor are something to enjoy now, instead of later when you are 65 or 70. If that matters to you, don't complain when the bill collector (disguised as Father Time) comes around.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Night of the Orange Moon

There was an amazing sight on Friday night, February 18, just as the daylight was dimming in the west. The moon began to rise in the east, and it glowed bright orange. I'd never seen anything like it. We were returning from a dinner out with Corbett family members at Arthur's Deli in Dixon, Illinois. The orange moon wasn't quite as bright as my brother's sweater, but it was close!

Me, my brother, and my sister.

Management styles

Pastor Drumel said this morning that there are three types of management styles (he was a manager of chaplaincy services at a Baptist Hospital in Memphis before coming to UALC): Risk taker, care taker and undertaker. Churches need to be risk takers and not do things the way they did 10 years ago, or even five. So do individual Christians.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wisconsin Democrats hide out in Illinois

We've just returned from northern Illinois where the Wisconsin Democrats are hiding out. Actually, if they'd just travel a little south of the state line and visit Mt. Morris, where we were staying, they could get a good look at how a striking union can bring down a viable, vibrant town that used to have industries and schools. Wisconsin seems to have a wise governor who wants the public unions to give back some to the state. But that might take some power and bucks from their bosses.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Why the World is Better Off Without the USSR

The world is a much better place without the USSR. Some professors and academics (and particularly American Communists) think it's a close call. Not someone like Ilya Somin who grew up there who answers philosophy professor, Brian Leiter.

The Volokh Conspiracy » Why the World is Better Off Without the USSR

Monday, February 14, 2011

Poverty Measures in the United States

Recently I was discussing poverty statistics and guidelines with several friends. We all were using a different figure. Well, that's not surprising, so do all the government agencies. USDA, HHS, Labor, the military, DoE, Dept. of Educ.--all use a different figure, and programs are usually not figured on the base, but on calulations like 120% of poverty, or 135% of poverty, etc. The 2009 weighted average poverty threshold of $21,954 for a family of four represents the same purchasing power as the corresponding 1963 threshold of $3,128, which is when the figure was first developed by Mollie Orshansky, an economist and statistician at the Social Security Administration (SSA). Back in the 1980s, when I was researching this a bit more carefully, I calculated that I was able to feed my family of four (2 teenagers) for less than the figure the government used for the "Economy food plan" on which poverty statistics were based. That's because I contributed my own labor, and was able to drive to a supermarket to purchase food, which many poor cannot do. The highest figures I've seen have been posted at the Lutheran Food Pantry which gives a base income by number in the family for qualifying for 3 days of food donations.

Although most poor families don't actually have 2 adults and 2 children (if there were 2 adults, the family usually isn't poor), that is the figure that is used in calculating the needs.

Johnson's War on Poverty, begun in the early 1960s, ended up being a war on the poor. We employ millions of people at the state, local and federal level with the money to defeat poverty, but actually, it simply provides a nice middle class living for those who service the truly poor. Occasionally, there are families who get a boost or are tied over during a rough patch, and those are the stories you'll read about in the paper. But for the most part, the poor are penalized by these programs. If they get married, they lose a benefit. If they get a raise, they might be disqualified for an important medical benefit for a handicapped child, or education benefit, so it's better not to move ahead.

Poverty statistics are used by politicians to keep certain cities firmly in the Democratic camp, while Republicans, who have never been stingy with tax dollars, are called pikers and meanies. Until Obama, President Bush was the all-time big spender on social programs. How's that working for you, America?

HHS Poverty Guidelines Family of 4, $22,250

Low Income Levels Dept. of Ed. Family of 4, $33,075

Lifeline, telecommunications benefits for low income You're on your own figuring this one out--I couldn't

Ohio HEAP (Energy): 200% of poverty level, Family of 4, $44,100

Fashion--it's not for everyone

Tennis shoes with banded hosiery that make a woman's legs look 50 lbs heavier. Other than an anorexic 12 year old, not sure who could wear this (from WSJ, Feb. 14).

Good Governance Jargon

This is a paragraph from JAMA--no need to tell you the topic, you'll see the problem just by reading it and trying to imagine where in the world or this globe does such a governing vehicle exist? (I've parsed it a bit for spacing, but have copied it word for word.)

"International principles of good governance
policy makers to act transparently,
engage relevant stakeholders,
and be held accountable.
Policy makers must make clear
the reasons for,
and provide evidence supporting,
their decisions.
Stakeholder engagement ensures that
the voices of affected communities are heard.
policy makers should
be held accountable for
fair deliberation and
ultimately success.
Take Obamacare (PPACA) as an example. Was its passage transparent? Were the stakeholders (that's citizens) engaged? Has Congress or the President or the staff who drafted it been held accountable? Were the reasons for this takeover made clear to your liking? Was there supporting evidence for their decisions? Were the stakeholders heard, but ignored, shouted down, demeaned or ridiculed? Were the policy makers held accountable, or did they just leave office to draw a government pension leaving it to the rest to figure it out?

This paragraph was not about Obamacare, but it does say it is about "international principles," and we know how the present administration swoons over that.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Date of baptism

Last week Pastor John Stozenbach talked about his baptism in the sermon (on baptism), and mentioned the date, and then asked us if we knew the date of our baptism. I didn't. I was pretty sure it was 1950, but didn't have a clue about the day. So I' e-mailed a friend, Sylvia, who still attends that church and is my age and asked her if her mother might have recorded it (she had great scrapbooks since she was the oldest child--I was lucky to have a photograph being third). Sylvia went to the church archives and found out our class was baptized on April 2, 1950 at the Mt. Morris Church of the Brethren. I looked up the date and that was Palm Sunday. I didn't have a "confirmation" verse, but John told us to select one if we didn't. So I've chosen Acts 2:42, which describes the early church group of the baptized 3,000 converted after Peter's sermon. There were four elements of their life as a church, 1) teaching of the apostles, 2) their fellowship together, 3) sharing a meal (eucharist/love feast) and 4) prayer. Isn't that a nice model, even for old timers in the 21st century?

Then it occurred to me today that when we joined UALC in 1976 it was on Palm Sunday also, and that we were confirmed, whereas those who were Lutherans were received by letter of transfer. So Palm Sunday was a big day.

Aunt Muriel, 1917-2011

My mother's sister, Muriel, died last night. In 2009 my grandmother's youngest sister, Ada, died. Now they are all gone, but safe in the arms of Jesus.

Muriel, a teen-ager, at my parents wedding, 1934, far left front.

Two years ago at her birthday party.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Young and Restleft--a Soap Opera for our Times

Sometimes these people just leave me speechless--and that's hard to do.
    "Shame on those who got their education for free telling today's young they must start their working lives mired in debt.

    Shame on the generation that got everything, took everything and bought everything and left latter generations with nothing.

    Shame on the cowards who sneer that those standing up for their interests, when every day the cowards reap the benefits of those who took a stand in years past."

You dolt with no sense of life before 1970. I left college with zero debt because I didn't borrow money. I worked and saved during high school, earned it working part time in college, and spent it on tuition, books, housing, and NO WILD LIVING, and when it didn't meet my needs I borrowed from my parents. It's called "being a grown-up."

And the rest is just drivel I can't address since I don't hang out with people who are takers and not givers.

Sorry I forgot to copy the website--probably isn't worth visiting. Called himself Sleezy or Snippy or Sleepy, something like that.

The Bucket List

A high school friend has told me that Lakeside is on her "bucket list." So I've sent her the schedule for this coming summer, which is now just 4 months away. Here's the schedule, but it couldn't possibly tell you all there is to do there--art classes, lectures, movies, live entertainment, bird walks, shuffleboard, tennis, swimming, boating, people watching and lake enjoying.

Danny and Phil

August sunrise

Shuffleboard in Central Park

Friday, February 11, 2011

Why no comments about the Obama interview with O'Reilly?

I don't like the way O'Reilly conducts his interviews and I don't like the way the interviewees, whether Obama or some other government official, never answer the questions. Each has his own agenda. Also, Obama's mannerisms, words and stammering bother me. Like the White House comments right now on Egypt. The WH has waffled more than John Kerry on this, and flip flopped more than an Egyptian sandal. For a guy who doesn't even like or respect our military, of which he is the commander and chief, he sure is expecting a lot from theirs. He sounds like he's campaigning.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Got gas?

Gasoline prices in Columbus, Ohio for the last 6 years.

Will Egypt's army take control?

"CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's military announced on national television that it stepped in to “safeguard the country” and assured protesters that President Hosni Mubarak will meet their demands in the strongest indication yet that the longtime leader has lost power. In Washington, the CIA chief said there was a “strong likelihood” Mr. Mubarak will step down Thursday.

State TV said Mr. Mubarak will speak to the nation Thursday night from his palace in Cairo.

The military‘s dramatic announcement showed that the military was taking control after 17 days of protests demanding Mr. Mubarak‘s immediate ouster spiraled out of control.

Footage on state TV showed Defense Minster Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi chairing the military‘s supreme council, with around two dozen top stern-faced army officers, seated around a table. Not at the meeting were Mr. Mubarak, the military commander in chief, or his vice president Omar Suleiman, a former army general and intelligence chief named to his post after the protests erupted Jan. 25.

That could be a sign that Mr. Suleiman, as well, was being pushed out of power."

Egypt army takes control, signals Mubarak on way out - Washington Times

History of Prostitution

Before I pass along this interesting reprint (1937, Eugenics Society) of a 19th c. book, I'll copy a few sentences.
    "It has been well observed that a people's virtue or vice does not consist in the arithmetical increase or decrease of immoral actions, but in the prevailing sentiment of an age or people, which condemns or approves them." Russia, p. 262
The author had just summarized how late Russia had entered the modern era, and how in the Elizabethan age of England the Czar of Muscovy was considered a barbarian. Maybe he's not saying we get the government and culture and values we deserve, but I think that sentence could apply to our current age.
    "The Watul, or Gipsy tribe of Kashmir is remarkable for many lovely women, who are taught to please the taste of the voluptuary. They sing licentious songs in an amorous tone, dance in a lascivious measure, dress in a peculaiarly fascinating manner, and seduce by the very expression of their countenances. . . and have been known to amass large sums of money." Semi-civilized nations, p. 420
My, doesn't that sound like the movie star gossip rags I browsed while waiting in the grocery store line yesterday. When the author gets to New York in his survey, he divides its prostitution into five grades, the first being the wealthy kept women of wealthy men; then those in comfortable brothels run by former prostitutes; then on to the immigrant women with poor English, the Irish below the German; and the fourth group he calls repulsive refuse, diseased and drunk with vagrants for clients. The last group are even more wretched, and have no shelter, are starving, drunk, and begging for a glass of gin. The author describes them as the outcasts of society, and the direction those in the higher classes are moving.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Good Samaritan saves a tire

At church Sunday, someone took the time to write out a note and slip it under the windshield wiper of my husband's car, "low tire." This nice person wasn't counting on the way my husband processes information. All he saw was a restaurant check (other side) and he put it in the car thinking it was from me (this baffles me, since this isn't how we communicate). Last evening he brings the "restaurant check" to me and asks what I want done with it. I looked at it and didn't recognize the name of the restaurant, so I asked him where it came from, and he said it was on his windshield. So, being a clever investigative librarian, I turned it over and saw the note. "Someone has left you a note. Do you have a low tire?" "Don't think so, but I'll go look." He came back in the house and confirmed that yes, one tire was very low. He'd already made a number of errands that day. So today he took his SUV to our son at Jack Maxton, who found all four were low, but one was really low.

Thanks, who ever you are, for saving a tire or preventing an accident.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Closet cleaning tip

I saw a way to trim your closets: turn all of your clothes hangers around, then turn them back when you wear an item. If the item is never warn in a season, (year), consider discarding.

I don't need that trick. I can tell by looking in the closet what hasn't been worn, and there are several reasons: 1) Doesn't fit; 2) isn't comfortable; 3) it's not attractive on me; 3) it needs to be ironed, and if I wear it, I'll have to iron it.

So this morning, 6 nice cotton blend blouses are leaving the house. All have enough cotton in them that I spray starch and iron and look rumpled 10 minutes after I wear them, so I tend to choose something else. Four light weight cotton jackets--one is ugly, one wrinkles, one is uncomfortable and one doesn't fit. Also a fancy 2 piece blouse that I've worn for winter dress-up events, but it's actually too sheer to be comfortable in any weather. A kitty vest that I really like, but is about 12 years old.

This jacket is leaving home.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Confused, bothered and befuddled — Everyday Math

Since I don't have grandchildren, I'm not really up on what children are learning in school these days. The closest I came to any gossip was several years ago when my husband complained about an elementary science/math class in which he volunteered on the Hilltop (low income). Even the teacher couldn't figure out the problems and asked him for help. It was his last year to volunteer--it was like watch child cruelty. Then a few weeks ago I was in the middle of a discussion (I was just listening) of a mom, a teen-ager, and a software writer who were discussing something called "spiraling" and "Chicago Math" aka "Everyday math." The 10th grader was obviously a bright young lady, but she had decided to avoid all routes to what might have been a promising career in science, which she loved, because of the way math was taught. She never could get that "a-ha" feeling of accomplishment and feel comfortable moving to the next concept. She was planning on a career in literature, she told me. So I looked it up--Chicago Math (University of Chicago) or EM, Everyday Math. As one who was never really strong in math, but have found it useful to know the multiplication tables, how to divide, know what a percentage means and calculate my grocery bill as things pass through the clerks hands, I think this sounds absolutely awful. Sort of like those awful story problems in third grade--if a train is going 15 mph, and a donkey runs along side, how long before it gets to Chicago. Sounds like some egg heads have hijacked our math classes so the Japanese, Chinese and Indians can get hired on emergency visas 10 years from now.

Confused, bothered and befuddled — Joanne Jacobs

If you've never heard of EM or Chicago Math, view this YouTube, and you be. . . stunned.

Dietary Guidelines Call for More Exercise, Less Food

Just to look at me, you probably wouldn't notice I've lost 80 lbs. Yes, 20 lbs. in 1960, 20 lbs in 1983, 20 lbs in 1993 and 20 lbs in 2006. Same 20 lbs each time. And by the miracle of the fashion industry I weigh 10 lbs more in 2011 but am 2 dress sizes smaller. Who knew?

The new guidelines don't look all that different than the 2005 guidelines. Maybe they are pushing more exercise? Anyone can lose weight. All diets work. It's keeping it off that's the problem. But I will admit that the weight I lost in 1983 stayed off the longest, because it was through aerobics, and not by dieting. Whatever crosses the lips and tongue eventually has to be atoned for in energy use. The 20 lbs I lost in 2006, which was by eating healthier--more fruits and vegetables, and saying no to desserts, French fries, pizza, and salty snacks--began creeping back in the fall of 2007 when we went to Ireland, and were eating lots of wonderful food 3 times a day on a Illini Alumni Tour. Then the Italy Tour in 2008 pretty much restored everything I'd lost in 2006. My goodness that Italian food is good.

Some people say they just don't know why they gain weight. I know exactly why. Today, instead of 5 vegetables which I would have eaten 4 years ago for lunch when I was losing weight while eating healthier, I had a sandwich with meat and cheese, some chips, and a few pieces of dark chocolate.

Dietary Guidelines Call for More Exercise, Less Food -

The Oct. 27, 2010 JAMA featured several articles on obesity and testing interventions on class II and class III obesity. This study included commercial weight loss programs. It seems to be a rather successful weight loss with follow up after 2 years. Unfortunately, there was no significant effect on cardiopulmonary fitness, cholesterol levels, physical or mental quality of life, or depression. There was a reduction in C-reactive protein levels and improvement in leptin levels.

The greatest obesity problem in the U.S. is among African American women, of whom about 28% are obese, much higher than black men or white women of Hispanics. And would you believe they are pondering whether there is a biological factor?

"The degree of adiposity associated with a given level of BMI varies by age, sex, and racial and ethnic group.​ Relative to white men and women at the same BMI level, black men and women tend to have higher lean mass and lower fat mass.​ The relative, although not absolute, health risks associated with a given BMI level may be lower for blacks than for whites. Asian populations tend to have higher body fat percentages at a given BMI level and possible higher risks; however, this theory has been disputed.​ Considerable discussion has addressed the public health and policy issues of using different BMI cutoff points for different ethnic groups that have different relationships with BMI, body fat, and health risks." Katherine M. Flegal, Prevalence and Trends in Obesity Among US Adults, 1999-2008. JAMA. 2010;303(3):235-241.

Why the privileged left the "Workers' Paradise"

"In January 2010, my father went to hear a talk by Boris Gulko, a Russian Jewish chess grandmaster who had won the USSR championship in 1977 and later emigrated to the United States, eventually winning the US championship as well. Knowing my interest in chess history, my father asked whether I had any questions I wanted him to pose to Gulko. One of my proposed questions was why Gulko had decided to leave the Soviet Union. My father said that this was a stupid question. The answer was too obvious.

Nonetheless, I persisted in urging him to ask it. After all, Gulko had been a privileged member of the Soviet elite who had every reason not to risk those privileges.

Gulko’s answer to my question was a telling one. He said that he did not want to be a “slave” anymore. Despite his relatively privileged status, he could no longer tolerate life under the control of a totalitarian state that, among other things, could take away all his privileges at any time.

Like most Soviet Jews, Gulko had experienced plenty of anti-Semitism. But it was not so much the special oppression of the Jews that led him to emigrate, but the generalized oppression he endured along with all the other citizens of Lenin’s Workers’ Paradise. My parents’ motives for leaving were in many ways similar to Gulko’s. They too were fleeing communism as much or more so than anti-Semitism. Only their decision was easier than his, since they didn’t have as much to lose."
Ilya Somin Memoirs

Somin's story of his family's coming to the USA when he was 5 knowing no English is very interesting. You can hear him debate the constitutionality of Obamacare here.

The 1099 Repudiation

During the debate on healthcare PPACA (pee pee and caca) virtually everyone alarmed by the taking over of our choices pointed out the problems with the 1099. Why didn't Democrats see it then? Because they are sheep, milling around, bleating, running away from the herd dog trying desperately to keep them from going over the cliff. The 1099 form would have been one more way to destroy American small business--they can't fool me--the big corporations wouldn't have batted an eyelash and would have passed the costs along to the consumer as they gobbled up smaller companies.

"Democrats now claim that the infamous 1099 business reporting mandate that the Senate repealed this week was an accident, as if they were as surprised as everyone else to learn that this destructive provision had crept by itself into law. The truth is that the 1099 rule emerged from the same core ideology as ObamaCare, and its overwhelming repudiation by Democrats may be an important inflection point in the health-care debate."

Review Outlook: The 1099 Repudiation -

Friday, February 04, 2011

Light Rail and Sustainability--what does sustainable mean?

Does it mean, it works if the government throws enough money at it?

"Let me present one fact, from Federal Transit Administration’s 2009 survey of public transit authorities, whose data is linked in various ways here. Or you can download the summary spreadsheet here. For all US light rail systems in total:

User fares paid per passenger-mile: $0.18

Total cost per passenger-mile: $2.22

Taxpayer subsidy per passenger-mile: $2.04

Since I live in Phoenix and the Phoenix light rail system seems to get particular praise as a “success” from light rail supporters, here are the Phoenix light rail numbers;

User fares paid per passenger-mile: $0.07

Total cost per passenger-mile: $3.89

Taxpayer subsidy per passenger-mile: $3.82

So there, folks, is your sustainable technology. As I have written before about sustainability, “I do not think that word means what you think it means.” "

Coyote Blog » Blog Archive » Light Rail and Sustainability

Not sure I'm reading the spread sheet correctly, but it looks like one line of light rail in Seattle has a fare of $.15 and a subsidy of $20.52. Seattle also has a trolly system called SLUT (South Lake Urban Transit) that is the most expensive in country--or was that the world?

'String Him Up' (Justice Thomas) and his wife too

Isn't it some sort of hate crime to threaten a black man with death by lynching? Isn't it a crime to threaten a Supreme Court Judge? This Common Cause group, rallying to bring down capitalism, sure sound like a scary group. I wonder if Janet Napolitano knows about them?

'String Him Up' -

"Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to [destroy capitalism and] make their voices heard in the political process [by threats, intimidation and lies] and to hold their elected leaders [but not Democrats or Socialists] accountable to the public interest." Web Site with my editorial remarks

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Should Islam Be Classified as a Religion?

"Concerning the definition of religion for First Amendment purposes, many factors need to be taken into account and compared with the Judeo-Christian religious tradition for which the First Amendment was intended. Religion as we have known it has been good for society. It has nurtured morality, strengthened the family, fostered public service and encouraged social harmony. Islam, on the other hand, is self-segregating, fosters ideas of Muslim supremacy and thereby sows seeds of social discord. Even its tradition of charitable giving is solely for the benefit of fellow Muslims and it utterly destroys the family through its adoption of polygamy.

In addition, Islam is the only religion that requires territorial sovereignty – its laws are laws of the land rather than laws of the heart as we are accustomed to finding in religion. In the Western tradition, legality and morality are two different things. In Islam, they are one and the same. And as Muslims press for their laws to become laws of the land, especially by suppressing criticism of Islam, the clash between these two systems of thought will intensify.

There is, however, a current of modern thought seeking to elevate a laudable personal virtue, that of tolerance, over the greater principle of justice. Is it just to tolerate polygamy in the name of religious freedom? The Supreme Court unanimously ruled in 1878, Reynolds v. United States, it is not. Is it just to tolerate the unequal right to inheritance for women? Is it just to tolerate forced marriage? Is it just to tolerate antisemitism? Is it just to tolerate the preaching of hatred toward non-Muslims? Is it just to tolerate the teaching that Muslims are superior to non-Muslims and that men are superior to women? Is it just to tolerate a parallel legal system based on inequality? There are things that our society cannot tolerate and expect to survive. Justice must take its rightful place above tolerance.

If Islam could be reclassified as primarily a social and political ideology, then the Western world would have a powerful tool with which to deal with its spread and could begin the process of containment in the same way the West contained communism, which in the end, seems to be the only realistic option before us with regard to Islam."

Read more: Should Islam Be Classified as a Religion? > Rebecca Bynum

Who says we're spending too much on health care?

Both Democrats and Republicans say the ever rising cost of health care is unsustainable. Republicans want sensible cuts, less regulation, tort reform, more competition across state lines, and less graft and corruption to lower our costs; Democrats are aiming at single payer--i.e., government pays all, which will raise the cost for everyone through higher taxes, just not at the doctor's office.

But who decided we pay too much? Have you looked at what the "average" household unit pays for health care compared to other items in our budget? 5.7% or $2,853, is what the household unit of 2.5 people with a gross income of $63,091 pays for health care. That household, imaginery as it is, pays 6.9% of its spendable income on household funishings, supplies and operations. Who in the government is demanding that Obama pay for your next couch or dining room suite? That household is paying 6.5% for vehicle purchases, and 17.6% total for transportation. Except for the recent cash for clunkers, when the government paid people to take out new car loans and destroy the only cars poor people could afford, we don't hear the government demanding that Honda and Toyota lower their prices or give away their products.

We pay 12.4% of our spendable income on food--7% at home and 5.4% away from home. I doubt that Obama is going to suggest that all the employed women quit and start cooking more at home so they won't be taking the kids to restaurants--or maybe he will if it's McDonald's. And entertainment, if you toss in cigarettes and alcohol is higher than healthcare at 7%.

So the next time you hear a reporter whether CNN or Fox, or a politician, left or right, moan about the rising costs of health care, ask him about the mortgage on his house, or the loan on his car, or what restaurant she's stopping at after work.

Taxes cost us 14.8% of the average paycheck, not household unit, much more than healthcare, and it will be going up as healthcare costs get buried in every additional piece of paper and rule change the government will throw at us with PPACA.

It just could be, health care is the biggest bargain in our budget.

Consumer unit

Paycheck percentage for taxes

Suspend Obamacare Rules Until SCOTUS Decision

"in the spirit of recent discussion about bipartisan initiatives to root out counterproductive regulations harming the economy, here’s a suggestion. Until the Supreme Court issues a ruling, the Obama administration should suspend enforcement of the regulations from the Affordable Care Act that have proved to be the most burdensome to doctors, entrepreneurs, consumers, and savers and investors." John Berlau, Money News, Feb. 2, 2011

Read more: Suspend Obamacare Rules Until SCOTUS Decision

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Bed Bugs | University of Kentucky Entomology

Just received an invitation to attend a meeting on bed bugs at OSU, with dinner afterwards. Think I'll pass. But reading through this very long and detailed explanation from the UK entomology dept., I see that only DDT takes care of the problem--no amount of cleaning or low level pesticide seems to do the trick. However, the fact sheet doesn't recommend DDT--of course not.

Bed Bugs | University of Kentucky Entomology

And for a very biased, but unhelpful Newsweek account, read this.

Immelt’s appointment has labor leaders concerned

I need to stock up on incandescent light bulbs. Soon you won't be able to buy them. The last U.S. plant has closed (Winchester, VA). I hate those squirrely thingies. It takes about 4 to make the same amount of light as one regular. Obama talks out of both sides of his mouth--says Republicans ship jobs to China. What? So what is Immelt doing? Shipping jobs to China with Obama's blessings.

Immelt’s appointment has labor leaders concerned - Jobs & Hire

Current Drug Shortages--Some hospitals are in tough shape

What's behind this? Seems to be a much bigger problem than 2007 and 2008. Is it the impending doom of Obamacare? Years of over regulation? Loss of profit by the manufacturers, who afterall, aren't in this as volunteers or church ladies.
    "The supply of these drugs has tightened in recent years as the generic-drug industry has consolidated, with many of the drugs now made by just one or two companies. In many cases patents have long expired and the original brand-name drug is no longer being produced.

    Federal regulators have also stepped up enforcement of quality standards, limiting the ability of large manufacturers to ramp up production.

    The drugs—typically used in hospitals and outpatient clinics—often require complex manufacturing processes with long lead times. Because factories produce many kinds of medicines, companies say they can't easily make more of one without creating a shortage in another.

    The Food and Drug Administration reported a record 178 drug shortages in 2010, up from 157 the year earlier and 55 five years ago"

Drug Shortages Distress Hospitals -

The Reality of Drug Shortages — The Case of the Injectable Agent Propofol | Health Policy and Reform

Read list of Drug Shortages > Current Drug Shortages

Old Bag Of Nails in Tremont Center

When we lived on Abington, we were one of Old Bag's most loyal customers when it opened. We have a tradition of a Friday night date. But some time during 2003, I think, it changed the menu and took off two of our favorites. We met Bill and Joyce there (although we'd been attending the same church for years) and started going out together. After the menu change we four moved on over to Rusty Bucket on Lane. Don't mess with the favorites.

Tremont Center - Old Bag Of Nails

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Politico leaves out Schumer's big gaffe

The problem is, Charles Schumer said we have 3 branches of government--the House, the Senate and the Presidency. If you watch the entire video you hear it; if you read Politico, that part is left out.

"I would urge my Republican colleagues that no matter how strongly they feel [insert gaffe here, you know, we have three branches of government. We have a House. We have a Senate. We have a president. And all three of us are going to have to come together and give some] … it is playing with fire to risk the shutting down of the government just as it is playing with fire to not raise the debt ceiling," Schumer said. "That could lead to terrible, terrible problems."

Here's how it works, Chuck:

Five blogs

were updated today--Illegals Today, Growth Industry, Church of the Acronym, Collecting my thoughts, and Coffee Spills, plus several Facebook entries. Snowed in.

Chicago Blizzard: City Officials And Residents Brace For Snow Storm

Weather news from Chicago. Stay home.

Chicago Blizzard: City Officials And Residents Brace For Snow Storm - WGN

1994--it wasn't all that long ago people were asking

What is the internet, anyway?

Firefighters forced to participate in gay pride parade win legal battle

Four firefighters lodged a complaint against San Diego for being forced to participate in the city’s gay pride parade in 2007. Although the firefighters objected numerous times to taking part in the event, the fire department disregarded their complaints and the firefighters report they were sexually harassed.

Let's not pretty up the terms. Gay Pride means pride in homosexual acts, men having sex with men (MSM) is the medical term because the costs to the health of the men are considerable, and sodomy is the Biblical term. Why should anyone, straight or gay, be forced to parade a sexual preference that may not be his own?

Firefighters forced to participate in gay pride parade win legal battle :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Wonder where the women went?

For 40 years, women have been getting special help in the sciences, math, engineering and computing fields. Summer camps, workshops, girly places on the internet to talk techy, special scholarships--collectively the government and foundations must have spent billions. There's been some headway--women now outnumber men in some of these fields (called STEM, science technology engineering math) as college grads, but they don't continue on to excel in graduate school. I suspect it's the "fun factor." How many nights can you spend on a problem eating cold pizza before it gets old? For guys, they think that's a blast. Not so much, gals. A high school science teacher told me that when she teaches physics to boys, it confirms what they already know. Not so with the girls, who have no intuitive or learned sense of the field.

So today I was browsing Crunch Gear and saw in its "About Us" there are no women. I clicked over to the job search and wondered how many women are even applying for these positions, let alone landing them and then advancing.

Douglas W. Elmendorf--a very important guy

"Elmendorf may be the most important financial analyst in America: his client list is all 535 members of the U.S. Congress. His job is to "score" or provide a cost estimate of important legislation wending its way through the House and Senate. His cost analysis can often make or break a bill's future."
Douglas W. Elmendorf - Washington Post

Others on the CBO Staff

In his own words (blog): "The United States faces daunting economic and budgetary challenges. The economy has struggled to recover from the recent recession: The pace of growth in output has been anemic compared with that during most other recoveries and the unemployment rate has remained quite high. Federal budget deficits and debt have surged in the past two years, owing to a combination of the severe drop in economic activity, the costs of policies implemented in response to the financial and economic problems, and an imbalance between revenues and spending that predated the recession. Unfortunately, it is likely that a return to normal economic conditions will take years, and even after the economy has fully recovered, a return to sustainable budget conditions will require significant changes in tax and spending policies."

Origen--was he such a bad guy to have a dream?

Yesterday I was listening to a Catholic call-in talk show on 1580 am (Columbus), and a father (dad) called in upset about the litany that was going to be used at his child's first communion. I knew nothing about this--I've never been to one. He said that instead of saints, they were using Solomon, Sarah and Origen. Again, I was left out of the loop, but apparently, whoever wrote this is a sister of whoever does some of our confessions at UALC when they don't use the LBW--they just don't sound right in real time--too chatty and modern for my taste (and sins).

So the dad mentioned that Origen didn't believe people would go to hell for their unbelief, and so despite his influence on hundreds of years of Christian thought and his hundreds of written works, he is not a saint. So today I looked him up in Church History in Plain Language by Bruce L. Shelley, Word Books, 1982, pp. 98-99.
    "Origen's vision, it seems knew no limits. It extended so far as to teach that all creatures including the devil himself would one day be restored to communion with God. Hell would be emptied. That doctrine above all others caused him no end of trouble. . . Origen's error lay in turning a dream into a doctrine. Orothodox Christians felt that they could not turn the dream into a doctrine because such an idea almost always tends to deny man's free will and its eternal consequences."
Sigh. Yes, it's a lovely dream, isn't it? Hell would be emptied; I'd like to see that one myself, even though I'm a firm believer in consequences.
    "The end of all desires for Origen came in 254. In the persecution instigated by Emperor Decius, Origen was singled out for special attack. He was flung into prison, chained and tortured. The authorities made him as miserable as possible while preserving his life in connstant torment. Decius' reign of terror for the church ended in 251 and Origen was released. The torture, however, had taken its toll on the white-haired professor. He died 3 years later, at the age of 69 at Tyre."
Origen and Origenism - Original Catholic Encyclopedia


My husband has had an eye infection for 12 days. If you do nothing for conjunctivitis it's suppose to go away in 2-5 days. The "doc in a box" (after hours clinic linked to our internist) prescribed Gentamicin--after 8 days--nothing improved and he was getting a bit stir crazy from staying inside and in the family room, sleeping in the guest room. The optometrist yesterday prescribed tobramycin dexamethasone, and after 12 hours, he's 100% better. Dr. Bieber said he's seeing at least 2 patients a day with this same eye infection. So, be forewarned, "it's going around."

TOBRAMYCIN/DEXAMETHASONE SUSPENSION - OPHTHALMIC (Tobradex) side effects, medical uses, and drug interactions.

The Middle East

Biden and Clinton are all over the map on Egypt, and Obama was attending a party for his out going staff while Egypt burned. Is anyone minding the store in Washington?
    "Which brings us to the question of what the United States should do. The Administration seems to have struggled to find its footing so far. Secretary of State Clinton asserted on January 25 that “the Egyptian government is stable,” and Vice President Biden assessed three days later that it was not time for Mubarak to step aside, adding that “I would not refer to him as a dictator.” The Administration has veered from calling for an “orderly transition” in Egypt to a “national dialogue” between government and protesters to resolve “legitimate grievances.” On Sunday, Clinton stated on CNN that “we do not want to send any message about backing forward or backing back. . . . We’re not advocating any specific outcome.” Well, that clears things up."

Do we support a dictator? Do we let Egypt become another Muslin fundamentalist country? Where has your personal magnetism and charisma gone, Mr. BO?

But, in my opinion, this is also not a good time to put much stock in what Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh say. They were hysterical yesterday. Beck is just out of his element--totally unprepared for this emergency, and Rush who has a better grasp of history and the world just hates Obama too much to find any rational thing to say. So in the words of Beck, "Do your own research." And pray for the Egyptian people.

The Right Side of History | The Middle East

Update: I have no idea who Mark Levine is, but he's getting play in AlJezerra and Huffington Post. Mark Levine: Obama: Say the D-Word
"It's incredible, really. Cairo is burning and the President of the United States can't bring himself to talk about democracy in Egypt, or the Middle East more broadly. He can dance around it, use euphemisms, throw out words like "freedom" and "tolerance" and "non-violent" and especially "reform," but he can't say the one word that really matters: Democracy."

Now listening to Mubarak who says he wasn't interested in being a dictator, but doesn't want to abandon his responsibilities. Hmmm. A little late to the gate.